Rhonda Kalifey-Aluise

Job Title
Executive Director, KIPP New Orleans
Corps Year: 
1992
Corps Region: 
Houston
Alumni Region: 
Greater New Orleans–Louisiana Delta
Awards: 
Peter Jennings Award

Rhonda Kalifey-Aluise (Houston ’92) was awarded the 2012 Peter Jennings Award. In 2004 Rhonda joined the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) to launch the charter network’s first school in New Orleans. Forced to relocate to Houston as a result of Hurricane Katrina, Kalifey-Aluise spearheaded KIPP’s return to the Recovery District in the fall of 2006. Today, the KIPP New Orleans network, led by Kalifey-Aluise, is the fastest growing in the country and consists of nine schools serving 2,450 mostly low-income students. At the same time, she has created an incredibly strong program for special needs children and has gone to great lengths to develop the school-based supports necessary to retain some of the hardest-to-reach children in the city. Their academic results have been impressive: KIPP New Orleans’s students have shown an average two years of academic improvement for every one year of instruction they receive. Rhonda Kalifey-Aluise has helped to set the bar high for school performance in the city. She is a compelling and persistent voice for not claiming victory until we are truly providing all the children in New Orleans with an excellent education.